Welcoming Ramadan,

“Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and the standard ˹to distinguish between right and wrong˺.” (Qur’an, Al-Baqarah, 2:185)

My respected Brothers and Sisters assalamu alaikum,

We begin this amazing month of Ramadan, in a few days time, inshaAllah. Allah Almighty reminds the believers: “O You who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn taqwa, (self-restraint).” (Qur’an, Al-Baqarah, 2:183)

Those of us who fast, enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that we are giving up our delicious food and drink, our leisure and amusement, so that we can please our Lord and Sustainer. Allah Almighty tells us in His Holy Book, all our other duties concern the poor, the needy, our families and ourselves, but Fasting is for Allah alone, and He rewards whom He pleases. We must always bear in mind the purpose of our fast. It is not only to stay hungry and thirsty, but to be conscious of Allah Almighty at all times. Fasting teaches us to tame our lower passions, al-nafs-al-ammara-bis-sow. This is the lower self that clings to the earth, and drags us towards all the hateful and shameful actions, envy, greed, sexual lust, jealousy, anger, hatred, revenge…

Fasting helps us to be disciplined. It helps us to strengthen our conscience, the higher self, which in Arabic is called al-nafs-al-law-waamah. This is the self-reproaching nafs. It is the higher self that constantly blames itself and seeks to put right all the errors and sins of the lower self. 

Ramadan is also a time for us to remember those who are fasting every day of their lives, not by choice, not because they want to fast, but because of poverty. They simply don’t have enough to eat or drink. We who enjoy clean drinking water, hot meals every day and a warm comfortable home, we must remember that we are very fortunate to have these blessings. Ramadan is a time to remember others less fortunate. It is a time to show compassion and mercy. Every time a Muslim begins an important action, he says: Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem! He says: I begin this action in the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate!

How many times a day do we say these words? Surely it must have some effect on our behaviour, if we are conscious of the meaning. Surely compassion and mercy must flow from our words and actions. In time our whole character should be infused with Allah’s mercy and compassion. 

This is one of the big lessons of Ramadan. That is why it is important for us to pay our Zakat during this month. Zakat is 2.5% of unused wealth that should go to the poor and needy. Let us try to remember these important lessons of Ramadan.

Many of us think that Ramadan is a time to ‘go slow’ and to avoid exerting ourselves. Some of us, if we had the opportunity, we would want to sleep all day until iftar. This is completely wrong. Ramadan is the time where we should be busy reading and understanding the Glorious Qur’an, studying our faith and trying to improve our knowledge and our character. It is a time of spiritual renewal and revival.

Many important events took place in Ramadan:

  • The Glorious Qur’an was revealed in Ramadan.
  • The Battle of Badr took place in Ramadan.
  • Makka was conquered in a bloodless battle by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) during Ramadan.
  • Tariq bin Ziyad conquered Spain during Ramadan. The list goes on and on…

So remember, Ramadan is not an excuse for laziness. It is a time for improving ourselves, improving our mind, body and spirit. We must welcome Ramadan like a long lost friend.

May Allah Almighty accept our fasts, which we do only for His sake. We do not fast just to lose weight or to show off to others, how religious we are. We fast because we love Allah, and we want to please Him. We owe Him so much. Fasting is a very small thing that He asks us to do, only for Him. Al-Bukhaari (1761) and Muslim (1946) narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah said: ‘Every deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward for it…’!” Allah Almighty does not specify how much, 10 times, 70 times or 700 times. Allah rewards fasting from His limitless bounty, “bi ghairi hisaab,” without limits.

I pray that you and I will be amongst those whom Allah rewards, without limits.

RAMADAN MUBARAK TO YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES!

For Bosnian Islamic Centre,

Nedzad ef. Hafizovic